to do.

EXPLORE all the trends – from styling to sell, the importance of art, the latest design trends, the iconic feature wall and many other ideas including what’s the latest out there…. This section will help you dress your home, throw new ideas at you and inspire you to experiment with “tried and tested” guidelines that I’m sure will arm you with the best advice to sell your property and enjoy life.


Styling your house for Christmas

20.11.20
Outdoor Xmas Decorations - ReasonToBreathedotTumlbr (1)


ONE of the free pleasures at Christmas time is driving around your suburb (or even farther away) to find the most merrily decorated house. Light, life-sized nativity scenes, gaudy snowmen, Santas hanging on precariously to chimneys and, of course, the lights are just some of the things you’ll come across in the suburbs.

It is easy to get carried away especially when it brings the community together and spreads such happiness, but sometimes it can go very, very wrong! There are a couple of tips to safeguard you from going under or overboard with your Christmas house decorations, and as always the key is to remain true to your style!

Don’t be a Grinch!

Outdoor Xmas Decorations - BetterHomesandGarden

If you live in a street where traditionally every house is decorated then JUST DO IT! Even if you aren’t religious or a bit of a scrooge, don’t ‘bah humbug’ and ruin everyone’s joy. You don’t need to spend a lot of money either. Discount stores and Christmas warehouses have a plethora of decorations that suits every budget. And, if you’re worried about electricity bills, you can switch on your lights for only peak periods.

If you’re going to do it, do it right

Outdoor Xmas Decorations 2 - FamilyHolidaydotnet

A lazily hung string of lights with a few blown bulbs strewn over a bush in your front yard is just horrible. Nothing screams laziness louder! So, if you decide on decorating, then do it with style and creativity. Stick to a plan or a theme and be mindful of how long it will take to set up and take down once Christmas is over for another year.

Safety first

Outdoor Xmas Decorations - Britdotco

We’ve all seen that movie where Clark Griswold spends many hours stringing thousands of lights only to fall off the room and spark a fire. You DON’T want to do that! Ensure you use outdoor lights and that your safety switch is functional.

Have fun

It’s only for a few short weeks so have fun with decorating. Think outside the square and allow your house to stand out (for all the right reasons!). Children of all ages – yes even the older ones – enjoy seeing the different displays. Use what you already have to enhance your decorations; trees, fountains, fences, balconies and chimneys etc. Window displays are always a crowd-pleaser and nicely protected from the elements.

Enjoy this happy, festive time of year. Dress your house for the party season and share the magical Christmas spirit!

Mixed Tomato Panzanella Salad

21.10.20

This is an oldie but such a goodie. Panzanella is an Italian bread salad, where really ripe sweet tomatoes create some of the dressing that the crisp golden bread absorbs. Just don’t leave it too long before serving otherwise you’ll end up with really soggy bread. 

½ (300g/10 ½ oz) sourdough loaf, crusts removed, torn into big pieces

6 sprigs marjoram or oregano, leaves removed

¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil, extra to drizzle 

250g (8 ½ oz) truss cherry tomatoes

¼ cup (60ml) red wine vinegar

½ tsp caster sugar

½ garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped

1 tbsp baby capers

200g (7 oz) mixed cherry tomatoes, halved

4 (600g/1 lb 3 oz) tomatoes, cut into wedges

½ cup basil leaves

micro red vein sorrel, to serve (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200C (400F/Gas 6) fan forced. Place the bread and marjoram leaves on a baking tray, drizzle with 2 tbsps of oil and season with salt. Roast in the oven for 8-10 minutes, add the truss cherry tomatoes to the tray and roast for a further 10-12 minutes or until the bread is golden and the tomatoes have split. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Place the remaining oil in a large bowl, add the vinegar, sugar, garlic, capers and season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining tomatoes and set aside for 20 minutes or until the tomatoes have released some of their liquid.

Add the bread and marjoram to the bowl and toss to soak up some of the dressing. 

Place on a serving platter with the roasted tomatoes and the basil and sorrel (if using). Drizzle with extra oil and serve immediately.

Serves 6.

Dairy Free Recipe

Vegan and Vegetarian Recipe

You can order the full e-book at the following link : Kirsten Jenkins “One Leaf at a Time” 

Image and Styling: Kirsten Jenkins

My Favourite Australian Artists

21.10.20

Thinking about how to decorate the walls in your home but not sure where to start? Or maybe you just need some freshening up on one or two walls and want something up and coming!

There’s no shortage of incredible talent when it comes to artists in Australia. Here’s a few of my favourites!

ZOE YOUNG

Fascinated by the simple beauty of the everyday, Zoe Young works between still life, portraiture and abstraction to capture her delight in life’s fleeting moments, turning them into something intimate, revelatory and long-lasting. The distillation of experiences and sensations is at the heart of Young’s practice. Originally trained in sculpture, her boldly feminine works are underpinned by a solid foundation of modernist theory and considered technical approaches to colour, composition and mark making.

To view more of her work click here

JANE GUTHLEBEN

Painter Jane Guthleben grew up on a Victorian sheep farm and now lives in Sydney close to the bush. Through her intimate paintings of domestic interiors, flora and kitsch, Guthleben brings the landscape in, emphasising its untamabilty, coarseness and defiant character that are at odds with the order and comfort of home. Prickly foliage, bulbous nuts and Australiana contrast with drapery and domesticity in unlikely combinations that are as familiar as they are strange

She recently launched a fantastic exhibition with MContemporary which we loved. To view more of her work click here

PETER HICKEY

Peter Hickey is a contemporary Australian artist who’s work reflects a love of nature in all its forms. Integral to Peter Hickey’s art is drawing – whether it be in a landscape etching, a still life monotype or a painting of an animal. The underlying drawing gives his work its sincerity and reflects Peter’s love of nature in all its forms. His work is included in the following collections: Gold Coast Regional Gallery, National Gallery of Australia, State Gallery of Tasmania, Art Gallery of NSW, Qantas Collection
Microsoft (Australia), Armidale Regional Gallery, Australia, ANZ Bank, Australia, Britiish, Printmakers Council, London, U.K, Kala Institute, Berkeley, California U.S.A, & Museums and Collections Worldwide.

Click here to view his works

DAN KYLE

The lyrical splendour of the Australian bush is captured in Dan Kyle’s painterly mark. Hovering somewhere between figuration and abstraction, his landscapes play with surface and texture to recreate the majesty and intrigue of the dense scrub that surrounds his Blue Mountains studio.

To view more of his work click here

I am also always on the lookout for up-and-coming young Australian artists. From abstract landscapes to detailed portraits, here is a great article on a few artists to start collecting right now!

And if you are looking to get out and about and check out some of the best public art in Sydney, take a look at this list.

Maple Bacon & Celery Caesar Salad

08.10.20

This is honestly one of my favourite salads from Kirsten Jenkins’ book ‘One Leaf at a Time”. For the non-anchovy lovers out there, you can emit them from the dressing or you could just tell yourself it’s just a salty dressing???

2 eggs

8-12 long streaky bacon rashers

1 tbsp maple syrup 

3 (170g/6 oz) thick slices sourdough bread, crusts removed, cut into 4cm squares

2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil 

6 stalks (360g/12 ½ oz) celery, thinly sliced and tender leaves

¼ cup shaved parmesan 

Anchovy dressing 

2 tbsps whole egg mayonnaise 

2 tsps Dijon mustard
2 tbsps white wine vinegar
3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 200C fan forced. To make the anchovy dressing, place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk well until combined. To loosen the dressing, add 1-2 tablespoons of water. Set aside.

Cook the eggs in a saucepan of boiling water over high heat for 15 minutes. Run under cold water, peel and discard the shell. Roughly chop the eggs.

Lattice plat the bacon (optional) on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and brush with the maple syrup. Lay another piece of baking paper on top of the bacon and place a tray on top to weigh down. Cook in the oven for 5 minutes. Combine the sourdough in a bowl with the oil and toss to coat. Add to the top tray in the oven and cook the bacon and croutons for a further 10-12 minutes or until the croutons are golden and the bacon is sticky and browned. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Arrange the celery, bacon, croutons and egg on a serving platter. Top with the parmesan and dressing.

Serves 4-6.

Dairy Free Recipe

You can order the full e-book at the following link : Kirsten Jenkins “One Leaf at a Time” 

Image and Styling: Kirsten Jenkins